Ultimate Sticky Baby Back Ribs Recipe
Using too much heat when cooking ribs is a surefire way to dry them out, so instead of grilling or baking your ribs, cook them over a barbecue for a superior flavor and incredible juiciness.
Learning how to barbeque ribs means you can make your next gathering a real gourmet feast.
As well as your ingredients you will need wood chips, a thermometer and a long-handled pair of tongs. You will need a couple of aluminum pans too, like cake pans or similar. These will be filled with liquid and the resulting steam will infuse the ribs with moisture and help to lock in the juices.
Hickory, maple, cherry, alder or apple wood chips are especially good with ribs. Adding woodchips direct to the coals will release plenty of flavor, but if you want extra smoke you can wrap a couple of cups of woodchips in aluminum foil and poke some holes in the packages. Add those to the coals.
To add even more flavor, brush BBQ sauce over the ribs occasionally as they cook. This is not essential because they will be very juicy anyway, but you can add the sauce if you just cannot get enough of the BBQ flavor.
The homemade rib rub recipe contains plenty of brown sugar, making it a very tasty sweet rub. Sweet rubs are not recommended for hot and quick cooking because the sugar will burn, so barbecuing is ideal. You will use about half the rub so you can make a smaller quantity if you like, else just save the remainder for next time.
This recipe is incredibly good so there will definitely be a next time!
Sticky Ribs Recipe
- 3 lbs baby back ribs
- Apple juice wine, beer or water, as needed
- For the Spice Rub:
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- ½ tablespoon black pepper
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon salt
- ½ tablespoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- Remove the membrane from the bone side of the ribs by slipping a butter knife under it and then pulling it off.
- Combine the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, sugar, salt, chili powder and cayenne to make the rub.
- Shake some of the rub on to one side of the meat and then rub it in using your hands.
- Turn the ribs over and repeat on the other side.
- Refrigerate the ribs until you are ready to cook them.
- Soak wood chips in water for half an hour.
- Arrange 25 to 30 charcoal briquettes pyramid-style on one side of the grill.
- Add ½ cup of lighter fluid and let it soak in, then use a long-handled lighter to light the coals.
- Allow the flame to die down, then put the drip pan on the other side of the grill.
- Rearrange the charcoal using long-handled tongs so it covers one side of the grill.
- Take the ribs out of the refrigerator and allow them to reach room temperature.
- When most of the coals are covered in gray ash, drop a handful of wood chips on top of them.
- Fill the drip pan ⅔ full with beer, apple juice or your chosen liquid, and add some herbs and/or spices too if you wish.
- Put the grate back on the grill and put another pan over the coals.
- Fill it with hot water.
- Put the ribs on the grate.
- Have the top and bottom vents half-open and put the lid down so the top vent holes are positioned over the meat.
- The temperature should stay around 225 degrees F so use a thermometer to keep check.
- Add 6 charcoal briquettes to the fire every 45 minutes or so, as well as some more woodchips.
- When the internal temperature of the ribs reaches 180 degrees they are done.
- The ribs will take about 4 hours to cook.
Pop the ribs directly on the grate or use a rib rack if you prefer. When barbecuing the ribs, the temperature needs to stay around 225 degrees F for the best results, so use a thermometer and keep an eye on it.
Close the bottom vent holes if the temperature gets too high or open them if it drops too much. They should always be at least partly open.
The ribs will take about 4 hours to cook. If you prefer to use St Louis cut ribs or spare ribs, allow 5 hours. If you are cooking at a high altitude you will probably have to add an extra hour to the total time.